screenshots / Tarzan the Ape Man / 1932 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller was under contract to BVD Underwear when he instead decided a leather loincloth was the way to go and accepted the role of Tarzan.
In this, the first of what would be 12 Tarzan films for Weissmuller, the King of the Jungle meets Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) who is on an expedition in Africa with her father to find the elephant's graveyard. After being abducted by Tarzan she develops feelings for him and tries to convince the ape man to return with her to London but Tarzan refuses. Later Tarzan rescues Jane and her father after they are taken captive by a tribe who plan to sacrifice them to a giant gorilla. Jane's father dies from wounds and she decides to remain in the the jungle with Tarzan.
This was the first time that audiences heard Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan yell. It is a vocal sound that is still known around the world and has often been reused in many of the later non-Weismuller Tarzan films and TV series, including the 1981 remake Tarzan the Ape Man starring Miles O'Keefe.
Filmed in the MGM Culver City studio and on location in Silver Springs, Florida and Lake Sherwood, California. Lions used in the production were from Jungleland USA, a former theme park located in Thousand Oaks, California.
Costumed as an ape in the film, stunt performer Ray "Crash" Corrigan may perhaps be best known to horror and sci-fi fans as the creature in It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958).
Uncredited in the film, actor Angelo Rossitto is cast as an evil member of a tribe of dwarfs. He would later appear in the films Pygmy Island (1950) and Jungle Moon Men (1955) which starred Weismuller as Jungle Jim. Other film appearances include Samson and Delilah (1949), Can't Stop the Music (1980) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). (Angelo Rossitto passed in 1991 at the age of 83.)